The Wind in the Willows

Adapted from the novel by Kenneth Grahame. Join Toad and his three friends Badger, Ratty, Mole on the riverbank in this much-loved classic children's tale.

Toad of Toad Hall adapted by A A Milne

Wind in the Willows adapted by Willis Hall

Adventures of Mr Toad adapted by Piers Chater Robinson

Wind in the Willows adapted by David Conville and David Gooderson

Wind in the Willows adapted by Alan Bennett

The Wind in the Willows adapted by Will Tuckett and Andrew Motion

The Wind in the Willows adapted by Julian Fellowes with George Stiles and Anthony Drewe

Richard Goolden (23 February 1895 to 18 June 1981) is probably the actor most associated with Kenneth Grahame's story, having played the role of 'Mole' in Toad of Toad Hall for some 24 London seasons. He first originated the role in London's West End in December 1930 at the Lyric Theatre when he was 35 years old, and the last time when he was aged 84 for the 1979 Christmas season at the Old Vic Theatre. He missed the Christmas 1962 season as he was playing the role of 'Politic' in Richard Wordsworth's revival of the Lionel Bart and Laurie Johnson musical Lock Up Your Daughters at Her Majesty's Theatre at the same time. During the Christmas 1976 season, while appearing at afternoon matinees of Toad of Toad Hall, Richard Goolden was also, in the evenings, appearing as 'Bernard' in Ed Berman's production of Dirty Linen/New-Found-Land at the Arts Theatre. Of particular note this meant that Richard Goolden was performing four shows on Saturdays 1, 8 and 15 January 1977: Toad of Toad Hall at 11.00am and 2.00pm, followed by Dirty Linen/New-Found-Land at 7.00pm and 9.30pm.


Toad of Toad Hall (A A Milne)

Play adapted from Kenneth Grahame's Wind in the Willows by A A Milne, with music by Harold Fraser-Simson.

From 17 December 1930 to 17 January 1931 at the Lyric Theatre
From 22 December 1931 to 23 January 1932 at the Savoy Theatre
From 26 December 1932 to 21 January 1933 at the Royalty Theatre (now Peacock Theatre)
From 23 December 1933 to 20 January 1934 at the Royalty Theatre (now Peacock Theatre)
From 24 December 1934 to 19 January 1935 at the Royalty Theatre (now Peacock Theatre)
From 23 December 1954 to 29 January 1955 at the Princes Theatre (now Shaftesbury Theatre)
From 20 December 1960 to 28 January 1961 at the Westminster Theatre (rebuilt at the Other Palace Theatre)
From 21 December 1961 to 20 January 1962 at the Saville Theatre (now Odeon Covent Garden Cinema)
From 18 December 1962 to 19 January 1963 at the Comedy Theatre (now Harold Pinter Theatre)
From 23 December 1963 to 18 January 1964 at the Comedy Theatre (now Harold Pinter Theatre)
From 22 December 1964 to 23 January 1965 at the Queen's Theatre (now Sondheim Theatre)
From 27 December 1965 to 15 January 1966 at the Comedy Theatre (now Harold Pinter Theatre)
From 24 December 1966 to 21 January 1967 at the Comedy Theatre (now Harold Pinter Theatre)
From 21 December 1967 to 20 January 1968 at the Fortune Theatre
From 23 December 1968 to 18 January 1969 at the Duke of York's Theatre
From 22 December 1969 to 17 January 1970 at the Strand Theatre (now Novello Theatre)
From 21 December 1970 to 16 January 1971 at the Duke of York's Theatre
From 20 December 1971 to 15 January 1972 at the Duke of York's Theatre
From 16 December 1972 to 6 January 1973 at the Cochrane Theatre (now disused)
From 18 December 1973 to 12 January 1974 at the Cochrane Theatre (now disused)
From 23 December 1974 to 18 January 1975 at the Haymarket Theatre
From 22 December 1975 to 17 January 1976 at the Duke of York's Theatre
From 20 December 1976 to 15 January 1977 at Her Majesty's Theatre
From 19 December 1977 to 14 January 1978 at the Cambridge Theatre
From 18 December 1978 to 13 January 1979 at the Piccadilly Theatre
From 24 December 1979 to 19 January 1980 at the Old Vic Theatre
From 15 December 1980 to 17 January 1981 at the Old Vic Theatre
From 14 December 1981 to 30 January 1982 at the Old Vic Theatre
From 13 December 1982 to 8 January 1983 at the Piccadilly Theatre
From 12 December 1983 to 7 January 1984 at the Westminter Theatre (now the Other Palace Theatre)
From 17 December 1984 to 12 January 1985 at the Fortune Theatre

A A Milne's adaptation premiered on Saturday 21 December 1929 at the Liverpool Playhouse Theatre. Directed by William Armstrong, with choreography by Margaret Einert, and sets and costumes by Philip Gough, the cast included Leslie Kyle as 'Toad', Alan Webb as 'Mole', Lloyd Pearson as 'Ratty', and Wyndham Goldie as 'Badger'. The production proved a success and it played an extended run up to Wednesday 22 January 1930. The theatre producers Basil Foster and Tom Miller then presented the London West End premiere the following year in a re-staged and re-cast production.

Basil Foster and Tom Miller 1930 to 1934

The theatre impresarios Basil Foster and Tom Miller presented Toad in Toad Hall for five consecutive annual Christmas seasons from 1930 to 1934

The 1930 cast included Frederick Burtwell as 'Toad', Richard Goolden as 'Mole', Ivor Barnard as 'Ratty', and Eric Stanley as 'Badger'.
The 1931 cast included Frederick Burtwell as 'Toad', Richard Goolden as 'Mole', Cameron Hall as 'Ratty', and Eric Stanley as 'Badger'.
The 1932 cast included Frederick Burtwell as 'Toad', Richard Goolden as 'Mole', John Kidd as 'Ratty', and George Wray as 'Badger'.
The 1933 cast included Frederick Burtwell as 'Toad', Richard Goolden as 'Mole', John Kidd as 'Ratty', and George Wray as 'Badger'.
The 1934 cast included Frederick Burtwell as 'Toad', Richard Goolden as 'Mole', John Kidd as 'Ratty', and George Wray as 'Badger'.

Directed by Frank Cellier (1930/31), directed by Cyril Cattley (1932-34), with choreography by Wendy Toye, and designs by Muriel Sterling.

Jack Hylton 1954

Originally presented at the Stratford Memorial Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon for a Christmas season in December 1948, and returning for two further Christmas seasons, the theatre impresario Jack Hylton transferred the production to London's West End in Christmas 1954 in a re-cast staging.

The 1954 cast included Leo McKern as 'Toad', Edward Atienza as 'Mole', William Squire as 'Ratty', and Brewster Mason as 'Badger'.

Directed by John Kidd, with choreography by Elizabeth West, sets by Reg W Sayle, and costumes by Desmond Heeley.

David Conville and Charles Ross 1960 to 1984

The theatre impresarios David Conville and Charles Ross presented Toad of Toad Hall for 25 consecutive annual Christmas seasons from 1960 to 1984 in a production that evolved over the years with various directors and choreographers being used.

The 1960 cast included Gerald Campion as 'Toad', Richard Goolden as 'Mole', John Warner as 'Ratty', and Peter Hughes as 'Badger'.
The 1961 cast included Jeremy Geidt as 'Toad', Richard Goolden as 'Mole', David Evans as 'Ratty', and Wilfred Harrison as 'Badger'.
The 1962 cast included Peter Woodthorpe as 'Toad', Timothy Harley as 'Mole', John Warner as 'Ratty', and Michael Blakemore as 'Badger'.
The 1963 cast included Martin Field as 'Toad', Richard Goolden as 'Mole', Terry Wale as 'Ratty', and Michael Blakemore as 'Badger'.
The 1964 cast included Ian Wallace as 'Toad', Richard Goolden as 'Mole', Martin Friend as 'Ratty', and John Justin as 'Badger'.
The 1965 cast included Martin Friend as 'Toad', Richard Goolden as 'Mole', Terry Wale as 'Ratty', and John Justin as 'Badger'.
The 1966 cast included Martin Friend as 'Toad', Richard Goolden as 'Mole', Bernard Hopkins as 'Ratty', and John Woodvine as 'Badger'.
The 1967 cast included Derek Smith as 'Toad', Richard Goolden as 'Mole', Oscar Quitak as 'Ratty', and Michael Barrington as 'Badger'.
The 1968 cast included Michael Bates as 'Toad', Richard Goolden as 'Mole', Melvyn Hayes as 'Ratty', and John Franklyn-Robbins as 'Badger'.
The 1969 cast included Nicky Henson as 'Toad', Richard Goolden as 'Mole', Oscar Quitak as 'Ratty', and Peter Forest as 'Badger'.
The 1970 cast included Michael Graham Cox as 'Toad', Richard Goolden as 'Mole', Donald Pelmear as 'Ratty', and James Cairncross as 'Badger'.
The 1971 cast included Derek Smith as 'Toad', Richard Goolden as 'Mole', Chris Harris as 'Ratty', and James Cairncross as 'Badger'.
The 1972 cast included Ian Talbot as 'Toad', Richard Goolden as 'Mole', Nikolas Simmonds as 'Ratty', and Richard Wilson as 'Badger'.
The 1973 cast included Ian Talbot as 'Toad', Richard Goolden as 'Mole', Chris Harris as 'Ratty', and James Cairncross as 'Badger'.
The 1974 cast included Martin Friend as 'Toad', Richard Goolden as 'Mole', Richard Cornish as 'Ratty', and David King as 'Badger'.
The 1975 cast included Ian Talbot as 'Toad', Richard Goolden as 'Mole', Richard Cornish as 'Ratty', and David King as 'Badger'.
The 1976 cast included Ian Talbot as 'Toad', Richard Goolden as 'Mole', John Warner as 'Ratty', and David King as 'Badger'.
The 1977 cast included Ian Talbot as 'Toad', Richard Goolden as 'Mole', John Warner as 'Ratty', and David King as 'Badger'.
The 1978 cast included Ian Talbot as 'Toad', Richard Goolden as 'Mole', Terry Wale as 'Ratty', and David King as 'Badger'.
The 1979 cast included Ian Talbot as 'Toad', Richard Goolden as 'Mole', Terry Wale as 'Ratty', and David King as 'Badger'.
The 1980 cast included Ian Talbot as 'Toad', Barrie Jamieson as 'Mole', Terry Wale as 'Ratty', and David King as 'Badger'.
The 1981 cast included Ian Talbot as 'Toad', Barrie Jaimeson as 'Mole', Brian Parr as 'Ratty', and David King as 'Badger'.
The 1982 cast included Graham Chinn as 'Toad', Graham Seed as 'Mole', Alan Palmer as 'Ratty', and David King as 'Badger'.
The 1983 cast included Graham Chinn as 'Toad', Graham Seed as 'Mole', Frank Vincent as 'Ratty', and David King as 'Badger'.
The 1984 cast included Graham Chinn as 'Toad', Graham Seed as 'Mole', Frank Vincent as 'Ratty', and David King as 'Badger'.

Directed by John Kidd (1960/61), directed by David William (1962), directed by David Conville (1963, 1965-71, 1977-81, 1983), directed by Charles Ross (1964, 1976, 1982, 1984), directed by Peter Watson (1972-75), with choreography by Joyce Blair (1960), choreography by Barbara Bolton (1961), choreography by Geraldine Stephenson (1962-1968), choreography by Jean Cook (1969-71), choreography by Sally Gilpin (1972-77), choreography by Miranda Fellows (1978-84), sets by Victor Friendly (1960), costumes by Desmond Heeley (1960), designs by Peter Rice (1961-1984), lighting by Richard Pillrow (1960-63), lighting by Joe Davis (1964), and lighting by Brian Benn (1965-1984).


Wind in the Willows (Willis Hall)

Musical adapted from Kenneth Grahame's Wind in the Willows by Willis Hall, with lyrics by Willis Hall, and music by Denis King.

Previewed 15 January 1985, Opened 16 January 1985, Closed 9 February 1985 at Sadler's Wells Theatre

The 21-strong cast at London's Sadler's Wells included Terry Scott as 'Toad', Melvyn Hayes as 'Mole', Patrick Cargill as 'Ratty', and Donald Hewlett as 'Badger'.

Directed by Roger Redfarn, with choreography by Michele Hardy, designs by Finlay James, and lighting by Andrew A Gardner.

Prior to London this production, with the same cast, embarked on a two-month tour: Plymouth Theatre Royal from Thursday 22 November to Saturday 1 December 1984; Bath Theatre Royal from Monday 3 December to Saturday 15 December 1984; and Guildford Yvonne Arnaud from Tuesday 18 December 1984 to Saturday 12 January 1985.


Adventures of Mr Toad (Piers Chater Robinson)

Musical adapted from Kenneth Grahame's Wind in the Willows by Piers Chater Robinson, with music and lyrics by Piers Chater Robinson.

Previewed 16 December 1986, Opened 19 December 1986, Closed 10 January 1987 at the Bloomsbury Theatre

The 8-strong cast at London's Bloomsbury Theatre included Piers Chater Robinson as 'Toad', Nicholas Collett as 'Mole', Mark Fredrick as 'Rat', and Nick Burnell as 'Badger', along with children from the Elmhurst Ballet School.

Directed by Piers Chater-Robinson, with choreography by Michele Hardy, sets by Jamie Baker, costumes by Nicola Hall, and lighting by Jacquelyn Leigh.


Wind in the Willows (David Conville and David Gooderson)

Play adapted from Kenneth Grahame's Wind in the Willows by David Conville and David Gooderson, with music by Carl Davis.

Previewed 15 December 1986, Opened 18 December 1986, Closed 10 January 1987 at the Mermaid Theatre
Returned 9 December 1987, Closed 9 January 1988 at the Vaudeville Theatre
Previewed 27 July 2004, Opened 30 July 2004, Closed 21 August 2004 at the Regent's Park Open Air Theatre
Previewed 2 August 2005, Opened 5 August 2005, Closed 27 August 2005 at the Regent's Park Open Air Theatre

The 1986/1987 seasons where presented by the impresario Bill Kenwright in a production that toured both before and after the London Christmas dates.

The 12-strong cast at London's Mermaid Theatre in 1986 included Patrick Monckton as 'Toad', Ronald Herdman as 'Mole', and Richard Kay as 'Ratty'.

The 12-strong cast at the West End's Vaudeville Theatre in 1987 included Neil France as 'Toad', George Parson as 'Mole', and James Woolley as 'Ratty'.

Directed by Terry Wale (1986), directed by Jimmy Thompson (1987), with choreography by Henry Metcalfe, designs by Anthony Ward, and lighting by Jon Swain.

The 2004/2005 seasons where presented by the New Shakespeare Company.

The 8-strong cast at London's Open Air Theatre in 2004 included Jamie Beamish as 'Toad', Leo Conville as 'Mole', Simon McCoy as 'Ratty', and Terence Wilton as 'Badger'.

The 8-strong cast at London's Open Air Theatre in 2005 included Jamie Beamish as 'Toad', Leo Conville as 'Mole', Simon McCoy as 'Ratty', and Julian Curry as 'Badger'.

Directed by Laura Baggaley, with choreogaphy by Yael Leowenstein, designs by Mamoru Iriguchi, and sound by Mike Keniger.

David Conville and David Gooderson's adaptation premiered at the Leicester Haymarket on Saturday 30 November 1985 for a five-week Christmas season that was directed by Ian Forrest, with designs by Anthony Ward, and a cast that included Jonanthan Stephens as 'Toad', Claude Close as 'Mole', Tim Brown as 'Ratty', and Tom Fahy as 'Badger'. The theatre producer Bill Kenwright then restaged and recast the play, but kept Anthony Ward's designs, for a touring production that came into London the following Christmas.


Wind in the Willows (Alan Bennett)

Play adapted from Kenneth Grahame's Wind in the Willows by Alan Bennett, with additional lyrics and music by Jeremy Sams.

Previewed 1 December 1990, Opened 12 December 1990, Closed 1 June 1991 (in repertory) at the National Theatre's Olivier Theatre
Previewed 1 November 1991, Opened 7 November 1991, Closed 21 March 1992 (in repertory) at the National Theatre's Olivier Theatre
Returned 1 December 1993, Closed 18 June 1994 (in repertory) at the National Theatre's Olivier Theatre
Previewed 9 December 1994, Opened 12 December 1994, Closed 25 February 1995 (in repertory) at the National Theatre's Olivier Theatre
Previewed 25 November 1995, Opened 29 November 1995, Closed 27 April 1996 at the Old Vic Theatre

The 1990 cast at London's Olivier Theatre featured Griff Rhys Jones as 'Toad', David Bamber as 'Mole', Richard Briers as 'Rat', Michael Bryant as 'Badger', Adrian Scarborough as 'Guard'/'Norman', Carol Macready as 'Bargewoman', Charlotte Medcalf as 'Rabbit', Chris Lamer as 'Fred', David Joyce as 'Gerald', Derek Smee as 'Fox'/'Ticket Clerk', Guy Moore as 'Parkinson', James Goode as 'Gipsy'/'Stoat', John Matshikiza as 'Otter', John Nettleton as 'Magistrate', Judith Coke as 'Monica', Mike Murray as 'Clerk of the Court', Mona Hammond as 'Washerwoman', Nicholas Monu as 'Policeman', Nick Holder as 'Stoat'/'Train Driver', Raymond Platt as 'Train Passenger'/'Rupert', Sue Devaney as 'Gaoler's Daughter', Terence Rigby as 'Albert', Tim McMullan as 'Chief Weasel', and Tricia Morrish as 'Train Passenger'.

The 1991 cast at London's Olivier Theatre featured Desmond Barrit as 'Toad', Adrian Scarborough as 'Mole', David Ross as 'Rat', Michael Bryant as 'Badger', Chris Larner as 'Fred', David Joyce as 'Gerald', Derek Smee as 'Fox'/'Ticket Clerk', Doyne Byrd as 'Otter'/'Stoat'/'Train Driver', Jeffrey Segal as 'Magistrate', Judith Coke as 'Monica', Judy Damas as 'Rabbit', Kate Somerby as 'Rabbit', Neil Caple as 'Norman', Patsy Rowlands as 'Bargewoman'/'Washerwoman', Paul Boyle as 'Gipsy'/'Stoat', Peter Chequer as 'Policeman', Raymond Platt as 'Rupert', Royce Hounsell as 'Parkinson', Sandra James—Young as 'Gaoler's Daughter', Terence Ribgy as 'Albert', Tim McMullan as 'Chief Weasel', and Walter Hall as 'Clerk of the Court'.

The 1993 cast at London's Olivier Theatre featured Adrian Scarborough as 'Mole', David Ross as 'Rat', Desmond Barrit as 'Toad', Michael Bryant as 'Badger', Barry Stanton as 'Albert', Callum Dixon as 'Norman', Chook Sibtain as 'Parkinson', Derek Smee as 'Fox'/'Ticket Clerk', Edward Clayton as 'Rupert', Femi Elufowoju Jr as 'Policeman', Howard Ward as 'Otter'/'Train Driver', Jeffrey Segal as 'Magistrate', Judith Coke as 'Monica', Judy Damas as 'Rabbit', Julie Hewlett as 'Gaoler's Daughter', Kate Somerby as 'Rabbit', Maria Charles as 'Bargewoman'/'Washerwoman', Paul Kissaun as 'Fred', Peter Dineen as 'Gipsy', Robin Sneller as 'Chief Weasel', Roger Swaine as 'Clerk of the Court', and William Cox as 'Gerald'.

The 1994 cast at London's Olivier Theatre featured Crispin Letts as 'Mole', Michael Jayston as 'Rat', Patrick Barlow as 'Toad', Michael Bryant as 'Badger', Andrew Price as 'Gipsy', Barry Stanton as 'Albert', Betty Marsden as 'Bargewoman'/'Washerwoman', Beverley Hills as 'Gaoler's Daughter', Charles Simon as 'Magistrate', Derek Smee as 'Fox'/'Ticket Clerk', Eric Fearon as 'Policeman'/'Stoat', George Eggay as 'Norman', James Lailey as 'Fred', Jasper Britton as 'Chief Weasel', Judith Coke as 'Monica', Judy Damas as 'Rabbit', Michael Hodgson as 'Otter'/'Stoat'/'Train Driver', Nathan Osgood as 'Parkinson', Paul Benzing as 'Rupert', Richard Katz as 'Gerald', Roger Swaine as 'Clerk of the Court', and Sally Martin as 'Rabbit'.

The 1995 cast at the West End's Old Vic Theatre featured Jeremy Sinden as 'Toad', Francis Matthews as 'Badger', Christopher Strauli as 'Rat', Ian Sharrock as 'Mole', Alan Brown as 'Clerk of the Court', Alan Brown as 'Train Passenger', Bob Goody as 'Chief Weasel', David Gilbrook as 'Ticket Clerk', David Roper as 'Albert', Elizabeth Mills as 'Passengers', Eric Coudrill as 'Gerald', Jason Cheater as 'Fred'/'Train Passenger', Jo Kendall as 'Bargewoman'/'Washerwoman', Matt Wilkinson as 'Policeman'/'Stoat', Michael Stroud as 'Magistrate', Paul Courtnay Hyu as 'Parkinson'/'Policeman', Robin Bowerman as 'Rupert', Stephen Noonan as 'Norman'/'Train Passenger', Tim Hudson as 'Otter'/'Fox'/'Train Driver', Tracy Harper as 'Gaoler's Daughter', and Virginia Denham as 'Monica'.

Directed by Nicholas Hytner (1990, 1991, 1993), directed by Edward Kemp (1994), directed by Jeremy Sams (1995), with choreography by Jane Gibson (1990, 1991, 1993, 1995), choreography by Jack Murphy (1994), designs by Mark Thompson, lighting by Paul Pyant (1990, 1991, 1993, 1995), lighting by Mike Anderson (1994), music by Jeremy Sams, sound by Paul Groothuis (1990, 1991, 1993, 1994), and sound by Simon Baker (1995).

Jeremy Sinden was diagnosed with cancer in autumn 1995, but continued playing the role of 'Toad'. Sadly, barely a month after the show closed, he died in hospital on Wednesday 29 May 1996, aged 45.

"It is hard to dispel memories of Nicholas Hytner's initial production in the Olivier theatre, which, with a sparkling cast, and spectacular use of the rising and falling revolve, was magical. On the Old Vic stage, Jeremy Sams' restaging has much less room to breathe and, while the sets revolve, it is harder to suggest the contrast between the outside world and the buried havens of comfort and safety that are the animals' underground homes. But, these limitations aside, Sams' sprightly production retains all the show's charm, infectious humour and loving attention to detail. He is well served by a fine cast. Jeremy Sinden as Toad is a wonderful combination of bloated self-pity and captivating capriciousness; Francis Matthews' Badger mixes gravitas and warmth; Ian Sharrock's Mole is delightfully gauche, with an accent that more than hints at Bennett's own, and Christopher Strauli's Ratty brings a crispness and affection to the part that is ultimately rather touching." The Financial Times

"Jeremy Sams's restaging of the great pageant which in past seasons filled the vast spaces of the National Theatre's Olivier stage with such bewitching scenic spectacle is in itself a small masterpiece. The stage of the Old Vic may be more confining. Yet it most marvellously concentrates the mind and the verbal wit of Bennett-out-of-Grahame. Indeed, the shared bachelordom of Ratty, Badger and their crinkly suppressed rivalry over their protege Mole — here so engaging and art fully played by Ian Sharrock, complete with Bennettian accent — takes on an altogether new dimension.... the untrammelled joy of this utterly enchanting evening is that it works on so many levels for so many tastes. And it comes, as ever, with matchless performances. Young Mr Sharrock's endearingly bleak and precise blend of timid politenesss, combined with an impetuous impulse to speak his mind, puts him among the greatest Moles of our times. Jeremy Sinden, too, seizes the challenge of Toad and his pneumatic ego with a gusto which claims the role as his own." The Daily Mail

"It has to be said that the production — now directed by Jeremy Sams — no longer seems quite as slick as it did at the National. The Old Vic's revolve trundles slowly, and the designs, delightful though they are, appear somewhat cramped. There is, however, a certain cosiness about this that suits the story well... The chief pleasure of the evening remains Alan Bennett's script, which, heresy though this may be, strikes me as being a huge improvement on Grahame's original. Bennett has retained the reassuring Edwardian charm, but deleted the whimsical passages of lush description... he has also ensured that the piece appeals equally to adults as well as their more innocent offspring... The performances in this revival are all a delight, none more appealing than Ian Sharrock's Mole who comes across as a shy, short-sighted north country grammar school boy... Jeremy Sinden is in his element as a Billy Bunterish Toad... Christopher Strauli touchingly captures the lonely vulnerability beneath Ratty's brisk military manner... It is hard to imagine a more consistently enjoyable family show than this." The Daily Telegraph

Wind in the Willows in London at the Old Vic Theatre previewed from 25 November 1995, opened on 29 November 1995, and closed on 27 April 1996


The Wind in the Willows (Will Tuckett and Andrew Motion)

Adapted from Kenneth Grahame's Wind in the Willows by Will Tucket, with text by Andrew Motion, choreography by Will Tuckett, and music by Martin Ward, inspired by George Butterworth.

Opened 10 December 2002 (no previews), Closed 22 December 2002 (in repertory) at the ROH Linbury Studio Theatre
Returned 17 December 2003, Closed 3 January 2004 (in repertory) at the ROH Linbury Studio Theatre
Returned 15 December 2006, Closed 13 January 2007 (in repertory) at the ROH Linbury Studio Theatre
Returned 12 December 2012, Closed 5 January 2013 (in repertory) at the ROH Linbury Studio Theatre
Previewed 11 December 2013, Opened 16 December 2013, Closed 1 February 2014 at the Duchess Theatre
Previewed 26 November 2014, Opened 4 December 2014, Closed 17 January 2015 at the Vaudeville Theatre

The 2002 cast included Matthew Hart as 'Toad', Philippa Gordon as 'Mole', Will Kemp as 'Ratty', Adam Cooper as 'Badger', Luke Heydon as 'Otter'/'Chief Weasel'/'Gaoler's Daughter', and Anthony Dowell as 'the Narrator'.

The 2003 cast included Matthew Hart as 'Toad', Joh Williams as 'Mole', Will Kemp as 'Ratty', Kenneth Tharp as 'Badger', Luke Heydon as 'Otter'/'Chief Weasel'/'Gaoler's Daughter', and David Burke as 'the Narrator'.

The 2006 cast included Ewan Wardrop as 'Toad', Charlotte Broom as 'Mole', Nikolas Kafetzakis as 'Ratty', Richard Curto as 'Badger', Luke Heydon as 'Otter'/'Chief Weasel'/'Gaoler's Daughter', and Michele Wade as 'the Narrator'.

The 2012 cast included Cris Penfold as 'Toad', Clemmie Sveaas as 'Mole', Will Kemp as 'Ratty', Sam Archer as 'Badger', Luke Heydon as 'Otter'/'Chief Weasel'/'Gaoler's Daughter', and Anthony McGill as 'the Narrator'.

The 2013 cast at the West End's Duchess Theatre featured Cris Penfold as 'Toad', Clemmie Sveaas as 'Mole', Will Kemp as 'Ratty', Christopher Akrill as 'Badger', Ewan Wardrop as 'Otter'/'Chief Weasel'/'Gaoler’s Daughter', Tony Robinson as 'the Narrator', Anna Martine, Connor Dowling, Kayleigh Gore, Kirsty Mather, Paul James Rooney, Aron Wild, and Jo Meredith.

The 2014 cast at the West End's Vaudeville Theatre featured Cris Penfold as 'Toad', Sonya Cullingford as 'Mole', Martin Harvey as 'Ratty', Ira Mandela Siobhan as 'Badger', Ewan Wardrop as 'Otter'/'Chief Weasel'/'Gaoler’s Daughter', Alan Titchmarsh as 'the Narrator', Alastair Postlewaite, Jay Webb, Jessica Ellen, Kayleigh Gore, Rachael Mossom, Aron Wild, and Jo Meredith.

Directed and choreographed by William Tuckett, with sets by The Quay Brothers (Stephen Quay and Timothy Quay), costumes by Nicky Gillibrand, puppets by Toby Olie, and lighting by Warren Letton.

Following the sell-out success of four seasons at London's Linbury Studio Theatre, based in the Royal Opera House, this production became the very first commercial transfer from the Royal Opera House to the West End.

"If you have had it with the productions of the Nutcracker that saccharine coat Tchaikovsky's bitter pill, then it's time to go down to the willow bank, and voyage into a magic world along the river. This is not magic created by large gobs of cash being thrown at stage machinery. This is magic created by an act of the imagination, a faith in the transcendent power of the theatre... helped by the remarkable Brothers Quay, designers extraordinaire, whose inventiveness and charm is never-ending: singers become ducks simply by wearing stuffed ducks on their heads and walking along a fabric river - art does the rest; butterflies descend, poised on mittens that open and close to create a ravishing swarm; an oversized chair is turned upside down and becomes Toad's cell. William Tuckett matches this imaginative daring with neat, efficient choreography... All is ably knit together by Martin Ward's excellent score, which is "based on" the music of George Butterworth. Most of it is, in reality, Ward's own work, giving Tuckett exactly what he needs... this is a show not to be missed." The London Evening Standard

"William Tuckett has stamped his mark on the London Christmas scene. The majority of footprints are taloned or furry in his sensitive recreation of Kenneth Grahame's shamelessly human but irresistible fantasy of the riverside adventures of Ratty, Mole, Badger and Toad. The action starts in Grahame's dusty attic among bits of tatty furniture and a broken rocking horse, all of which serve as caravans, courtrooms and prison cells in the Quay Brothers' ingenious designs... Mole, discovered in a rolled-up old carpet, finds a stretch of silk that handily turns out to be a stream and the evening is launched on a tide of middle-class poetry and kitsch 'English'-style music... Homely cardigans and comfortable jackets provide realistic imaging, leaving a blank canvas upon which the dancers' artistry conjures up the living creatures... Tuckett has created a children's show with the artistic mastery and theatrical skills any adult can relish." The Sunday Express

"The two-act show, written by the Poet Laureate Andrew Motion, is narrated by Sir Anthony Dowell and choreographed by the Royal Ballet's William Tuckett. The score (by Martin Ward) is based on music by the Edwardian folk-song enthusiast George Butterworth. With a line-up like that it probably ought to be slightly better than it is, but, rather like Matthew Bourne's smash-hit Nutcracker! its weaknesses are easily masked by the wit of its designers, the vibrant playing of its singers and dancers and by the emotional truth of Kenneth Grahame's story... The imaginative designs (by the hip and happening Quay Brothers) are what really bring the show alive. They set the action in a vast attic cluttered with unwanted furniture that magically supplies all the necessary props: a wardrobe becomes Toad's gipsy caravan; an upturned Windsor chair his prison cell. Ratty's beloved boat is a witty Tommy Cooperish affair worn around his waist on braces, as is Toad's infernal motor car." The Sunday Telegraph

The Wind in the Willows in London at the Vaudeville Theatre previewed from 26 November 2014, opened on 4 December 2014, and closed on 17 January 2015


The Wind in the Willows (Julian Fellowes)

Previewed 17 June 2017, Opened 29 June 2017, Closed 9 September 2017 at the London Palladium

A major new musical based on Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows in London starring Rufus Hound

A riotous musical comedy that follows the impulsive Mr Toad whose insatiable need for speed lands him in serious trouble. But with his beloved home under threat from the notorious Chief Weasel and his gang of sinister Wild Wooders, Toad must attempt a daring escape leading to a series of misadventures and a heroic battle to recapture Toad Hall.

Adapted from Kenneth Grahame's Wind in the Willows by Julian Fellowes, with music and lyrics by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe.

The cast featured Rufus Hound as 'Mr Toad', Craig Mather as 'Mole', Simon Lipkin as 'Ratty', Gary Wilmot as 'Badger', Neil McDermott as 'Chief Weasel', Denise Welch as 'Mrs Otter'/'Bargewoman', with Abigail Brodie as 'Horse'/'Swallow'/'Fieldmouse', Adam Vaughan as 'Magistrate', Bethany Linsdell as 'Swallow'/'Fieldmouse', Chris Aukett as 'Train Driver', Emilie du Leslay as 'Portia', Evan James as 'Rabbit Butler', James Gant as 'Mr Hedgehog'/'Car Driver', Jenna Boyd as 'Mrs Hedgehog'/'Gaoler’s Daughter', Jorell Coiffic-Kamall as 'Scared Weasel', Joshua Gannon as 'Lesser Weasel'/'Fieldmouse', Michael Larcombe as 'Head Chorister Fieldmouse', Natalie Woods as 'Horse', Nicole Deon as 'Scared Stoat', Rosanna Bates as 'Susie Stoat'/'Swallow', Ryan Pidgen as 'Prison Guard', Georgie Westall, and Joel Baylis.

Directed by Rachel Kavanaugh, with choreography by Aletta Collins, designs by Peter McKintosh, lighting by Howard Harrison, and sound by Gareth Owen.

Rufus Hound's West End credits include Dirty Rotten Scoundrels at the Savoy Theatre in 2015.

Simon Lipkin's London theatre credits include the roles of 'Nathan Detroit' in Gordon Greenberg's revival of Frank Loesser's Guys and Dolls at the Phoenix Theatre in 2016; the title role in Max Webster's production of David Greig's stage adaption of Dr. Seuss's The Lorax at the Old Vic Theatre in 2015; 'Barlow' in Sean Foley's production of the Steve Brown and Harry Hill musical I Can't Sing! at the London Palladium in 2014; 'Lonny' in the original cast of Kristin Hanggi's production of Chris D'Arienzo's Rock of Ages at the Shaftesbury Theatre in 2011; and 'Nicky'/'Trekkie Monster' in the original cast of Jason Moore's production of the Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx musical Avenue Q at the Noel Coward Theatre in 2006.

Gary Wilmot's theatre credits include Neil Simon's musical play The Goodbye Girl at the Noel Coward Theatre in 1997 and Barry Manilow's musical Copacabana at the Prince of Wales Theatre in 1994.

George Stiles and Anthony Drewe's London theatre credits include The 3 Little Pigs at the Palace Theatre in 2015 and Betty Blue Eyes at the Novello Theatre in 2011. They have also updated, revised, and provided new songs for the stage musicals Half a Sixpence and Disney's Mary Poppins.

Prior to London's West End, this production was presented at the Plymouth Theatre Royal - previewed from 8 October 2016, opened on 20 October 2016, and closed on 22 October 2016 - following by a short tour visitng Salford Lowry Theatre from 27 October to 6 November 2016, and Southampton Mayflower Theatre - from 10 to 20 November 2016. The cast for these 2016 performances featured Rufus Hound as 'Mr Toad', Fra Fee as 'Mole', Thomas Howes as 'Ratty', David Birrell as 'Badger', Neil McDermott as 'Chief Weasel', Sophia Nomvete as 'Mrs Otter', Abigail Brodie as 'Horse'/'Swallow'/'Fieldmouse', Adam Vaughan as 'Magistrate'/'Train Driver', Bethany Linsdell as 'Swallow'/'Fieldmouse', Courtney Bowman as 'Horse', Dylan Mason as 'Lesser Weasel'/'Fieldmouse', Emma Odell as 'Bargewoman', Evan James as 'Rabbit Butler', Graham Lappin as 'Car Driver', Holly Willock as 'Portia', James Gant as 'Mr Hedgehog', Jenna Boyd as 'Mrs Hedgehog'/'Gaoler’s Daughter', Jorell Coiffic-Kamall as 'Scared Weasel', Karli Vale as 'Susie Stoat'/'Swallow', Michael Larcombe as 'Head Chorister Fieldmouse', Nicole Deon as 'Scared Stoat', Ryan Pidgen as 'Prison Guard', Georgie Westall, and Patrick Sullivan.

When this production opened here at the London Palladium in June 2017, Michael Billington in the Guardian wrote that "it's one of those pieces of theatre that passes the time innocently but I'm not sure that is enough. The book may be susceptible to many different readings but here you feel it has been adapted with professional commitment rather than reimagined with personal passion." Neil Norman in the Daily Express noted how "the songs by George Stiles and lyricist Anthony Drewe are pale imitations influenced by Britain's musical heritage... And it never settles down into a coherent musical structure... Julian Fellowes' script is similarly disorganised... All in all, it is pretty bad." a dissappointed Quentin Letts in the Daily Mail said: "I’m afraid I found it bland and unmemorable... Gary Wilmot makes a dignified Badger, but Simon Lipkin’s Rat felt more like a pantomime Buttons and Rufus Hound is pretty awful as Mr Toad. You need to do more to convey a character than merely pulling your mouth to one side and fnarr-fnarring under a green moustache." Dominic Cavendish in the Daily Telegraph complained that "this show is burdened by an insufferable tweeness. There's only so much Edwardian innocence, as expressed through the power of song, that one can take, and I had my fill of it by the end of the first of 20 numbers... The comic ebullience and brio of a boggle-eyed, green-mustachioed Rufus Hound as Toad saves it from being a full-on car crash." Henry Hitchings in the London Evening Standard thought "it sounds promising, but at every turn this lavish take on Kenneth Grahame's 1908 novel chooses sweetness over mischief... It's a meandering journey rather than a genuinely engaging one, and the wide variety of musical idioms means it never asserts a particular voice or vision... Rachel Kavanaugh's production, though picturesque and deftly choreographed, is slow to exert any grip. It's bland and more than a little twee." Sarah Hemming in the Financial Times explained that "the relentless push needed to fill the vast Palladium, coupled with a lack of real meat in Julian Fellowes' book, produces something increasingly brash and hollow. Fellowes' script is slender at best... but with no real jeopardy and insufficient investment in plot, subtlety and character detail, the show stalls. There is a lot of engine-revving here, but little forward motion." Ann Treneman in the Times held that "Kenneth Grahame’s bucolic tale deserves better... Rachel Kavanaugh, the director, has created something that is too safe and never feels as if it is pushing the boundaries... Simon Lipkin does his best as Ratty and Craig Mather is endearing as Mole but it’s not enough... This tale is all about speed and yet this underpowered musical just never really takes off."

The Wind in the Willows in London at the Palladium previewed from 17 June 2017, opened on 29 June 2017, and closed on 9 September 2017